Rabbi Ya'akov Ariel
Rabbi Ya'akov ArielOfir Amram

A prominent group of religious Zionist rabbis convened to formulate a position on the new kashrut system of the Tzohar Rabbis' Organization.

The rabbis - Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rabbi Tzfania Drori, Rabbi Zalman Melamed, Rabbi Isser Klonsky, and Rabbi Chaim Steiner met with Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, and then met with Tzohar leaders with the aim of forming cooperation in the kashrut field, but the attempt did not succeed.

In light of this, the rabbis appealed to the Tzohar rabbis and noted that they view with severity the establishment of the alternative kashrut system. "This causes damage to kashrut in the State of Israel, leads to a lowering of the kashrut standard, and also constitutes a severe blow to the Chief Rabbinate," the rabbis said.

The rabbis call upon the Tzohar rabbis to cancel their separate kashrut system. They mentioned that "the Chief Rabbinate of Israel was founded by Maran Harav Kook zt"l with the aim of concentrating all matters of the rabbinate and religion under one rabbinical authority and decision that would be binding on the entire public in Israel without other bodies acting independently without the central authority."

Israel Restaurant Association and Tzohar rabbis at press conference
Israel Restaurant Association and Tzohar rabbis at press conferenceFlash 90

The Tzohar Rabbis' Organization responded: "We do not report from closed meetings. We will only say that this meeting was not intended to close the project but to cooperate with the Chief Rabbinate. Tzohar responded favorably to the proposal out of its desire to cooperate with the Rabbinate.

"Many rabbis and heads of congregations and yeshivas are very supportive of increasing kashrut by Tzohar's kashrut system. It is important to note that many of the businesses that received the kashrut of Tzohar were previously not kosher and were opened on Shabbat, and because of the Tzohar kashrut they became kosher and closed on Shabbat.

"Increasing kashrut in Israel according to Jewish law is our path and we are committed to it. We hope that the efforts of our teachers and rabbis will mature into fruitful cooperation with the Chief Rabbinate because this is our goal."

Rabbi David Stav
Rabbi David Stavעופר עמר

Last week, Arutz Sheva reported that Jewish restaurants and business owners from abroad had contacted the Tzohar Rabbis' organization and asked to switch to their kashrut supervision for the summer vacation, a time when masses of Israelis take vacations abroad.

The organization expressed satisfaction that the kashrut system they initiated in Israel crosses the country's borders, but noted in conversation with Arutz Sheva that as of today, supervision will be given only to food businesses in Israel. However, it is possible that in the future when the project grows, kashrut certification will also be granted to businesses abroad.

In the meantime, the Jewish traveler abroad will be able to avail himself of an excellent Kashrut booklet written by Tzohar Rabbinical Association Kashrut Department head Rabbi Oren Duvdevani, together with Tzohar rabbis Chairman Rabbi David Stav and his son Rabbi Avraham Stav.

In the brochure, the Israeli traveler will find various kashrut-related laws explaining how to keep kashrut abroad and dealing with complex questions in the field such as staying at a hotel abroad on Shabbat, laws, customs, and names of Kosher products available abroad. In the booklet the traveler will find out which kosher bread is available in Spain, or whether it is possible to buy ultra-high temperature pasteurized milk in a delicatessen in India.

To view the booklet in the original Hebrew click here.

Kosher certification?
Kosher certification?Flash 90